How to Mount a Bedside Lamp
Our "light whisperer," Randall Whitehead, IALD, explains where to place a bedside swing-arm sconce.
 
What is the normal height to mount a swing-arm lamp if it is to be used for reading next to a bed?
Of course, there is no simple answer to this question. The optimum location for the swing arm lamp is between your head and your book (or Kindle or laptop). Then the height of the bed and the slouchiness of the reader are also factored in. I tend to like the swing-arm lamps that not only adjust from east to west but also from north to south. This gives you the most flexibility and allows a couple to mount their reading lamps at matching heights even if their reading positions differ. I actually make the client get into bed to measure the correct height. I am the “light whisperer.”
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Latest from ask randall

Is your home located in Las Vegas? To me, it would feel like there should be lines of sparkly show girls constantly descending the stairs … not that... read full story
This is really an aesthetic call. I would say look at a fixture that is 14 inches to 16 inches in diameter with a height of 8 inches to 10 inches. I... read full story
My recommendation is to go with a series of surface-mounted fixtures to help spread the light out. Recessed fixtures, alone, only create pools of... read full story
This confused me, too, when the CRI rating came out. I also thought “why use incandescent as the gold standard when it shifts colors to the warm... read full story

Webinars

Wednesday, June 8 at 2 p.m. EDT Register for this free CEU webinar here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0 Learning UnitIDCEC (IIDA/ASID/IDC/IDS) 0.1... read full story
Sponsored by Emerson and Kuzco Lighting. This free CEU webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by clicking here. Webinar Overview:Learning units... read full story
Sponsored by Bock Lighting, CSL, Fanimation, Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and USA LED Lighting Solutions.   Wednesday, June 10, 2-3 p.m. EDT This free CEU webinar has... read full story

RL Tweets!

Email Subscriptions